Travel Cooking: Tips to Save Money and Don’t Be Hungry
When you’re trying to travel and have a good time, you might not think about how much it will cost to eat. The reality is that eating in tourist areas will cause costs to rise very quickly. However, there are some things you can do if you would like to save money when you’re on the road. Here are some tips that you can follow if you want to keep your belly and your wallet full!
Book Lodging that Includes a Kitchen or Meals
The first thing you can do to save money on food when traveling is to book an all-inclusive deal. Basically, an all-inclusive travel package is one that takes into account every cost that you’ll incur on a trip, including meals. Many of the all-inclusive deals that you’ll find allow you to have as much food as you like; you’re not only limited to having food at mealtimes. That can be a great way to save money if you like to eat without consideration for pulling out your wallet every time. Also, if you’re going to stay in a new place, try to find lodging that has a kitchen in it. When you rent a cabin for the weekend, for example, you should be rather certain that it will have some kind of place to cook so that you can bring food and prepare it as you like.
Eat What the Locals Do: Avoid Touristy Areas
Every major city has tourist traps that are designed to get people to spend money on what they believe is the “authentic experience.” That is something very common in places like Paris and New York City. If you would like to save some money on what you eat and still get to enjoy the city’s ambiance and fare, then you should eat where the locals eat. That means finding restaurants that are a little off the beaten path that might not have some of the amenities for foreigners but still serve good, inexpensive foods.
Keep Snacks in Your Pack
Another way that you can save a lot of money on traveling is by packing your own snacks. Think about it: when you’re walking through a city, you’re going to be very hungry. If you stop at a store every time you need a quick boost of energy, you’re going to be poor before long. Take time to create snack packs with fruit, nuts, and oats so that you can eat one whenever you’re hungry without succumbing to the desire to buy something. That does not mean you should avoid eating all the local foods you see while traveling. You should stick to a careful budget, though.
Pop into Bakeries and Cafes Shortly Before Closing
Use this method of getting cheap food at your own discretion! When bakeries or cafes are about to close for the night, they will want to get rid of the food they have so they can bring in fresh food the next day. That means they will often give you a good deal on the items they have in stock. That means you can easily get several donuts, bagels, muffins, and more just by going into the place at the right time. Don’t do this all the time, though, because it will make you look like someone taking advantage of the system instead of being a fortunate person. Don’t forget to vigorously thank workers if they give you a good deal on the food that you get.
Head to the Student Neighborhood
When you are in a major city, the chances are rather good that you’re going to find a university. That also means you will be more likely to find stores that offer cheap, easy meals. When you’re near a student campus, check the local stores to see what deals they have for younger people or those that live in the town. Local bodegas, retail outlets, and even chain stores understand that their student population doesn’t have a lot of money, so they sell food at low costs. Take advantage of these areas to find some very tasty food without the high price that typically comes with eating. You can always ask students where the best, cheap food is, too. They’ll be glad to share their favorite spots with you, and you might make a friend along the way.
Sample the Local Street Food
Street food is one of the cheapest sources of food that you can have. It is easy to make, it has a low overhead cost for the chef, and it is tasty. The only downside is that not a lot of it is healthy over the long term. Still, if you only have a few dollars in your pocket, then it might be worth to get an empanada or a hot dog instead of trying to subsist on rice and beans during your travels. Several different sorts of local street food are worth eating, and many of them are local delicacies native to the place where the street vendor lived. That is what makes large cities such a great, accessible place to try food from street vendors. From hot dogs and empanadas to kababs and tacos, there are all sorts of foods that you can find in most large population areas!
Trying to find the perfect meals when you’re traveling might seem rather hard. However, if you spend some time learning how to travel and eat well, you won’t have to worry about your spending habits so much. Learn to pack your own snacks, learn about the places you’re staying, cook when you can, and always try to find the cheaper places available around you. Traveling is meant to be an adventure, and you might not always have the time to prepare a four-course meal, so learn where to find inexpensive, tasty food before you depart on your journey.